The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said that for Nigeria to reap the dividends of the National Single Window, the nation’s seaports must be upgraded and automated effectively so as to eliminate human contact during transactions at the port as it breeds corruption.
The Director Consumer Affairs of the NSC, Chief Cajethan Agu who disclosed this at an event in Lagos on Thursday stated that trade facilitation was all about improving the processes and procedures so as to make the port less costly as well as to maximize efficiency but at the same time achieve regulatory objectives.
Agu while stating there were four pillars of trade facilitation namely; harmonization, simplification, standardization and transparency added that “the only thing we are saying is for us to try as much as possible to implement some these trade facilitation measures and you will see that our ports will be better for it”.
Comparing the Nigerian ports with her counterparts across Africa, the Director argued that the port Lome could comfortably serve as a hub as it had the capacity to receive a vessel carrying up to 12,000 containers whereas in Nigeria, the maximum the port could receive was around 5,000 to 6,000 containers.
” So, you can see that Lome can comfortably serve as a hub. In terms of dwell time, they have lower number of days. In Nigeria, we should be talking of 20 days upwards whereas in Lome port, it is only three days; Cotonou is less than seven days. So, competitively, they have advantages.
“Equally, in terms of free days, they have more number of free of days which means that their ports are less costly and as I said, in global trade, you either compete to survive or you perish.
“So, we must definitely upgrade our port system in terms of establishing a single window system, automation is the answer, human to human contact breeds corruption”, he said.
Photo: The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Hassan Bello.
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